Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

The week in audio: Electoral Dysfunction; Black Box; The Price of Music; An Taobh Tuathail – review
Culture TV and Radio

The week in audio: Electoral Dysfunction; Black Box; The Price of Music; An Taobh Tuathail – review

Inefficient Voting System | News from the Sky

Black Box | The Guardian
The Price of Music | Dap Dip

“Northwest Side | RTÉ Radio in the Gaeltacht”

A new podcast, “Electoral Dysfunction,” which features three women who work in news and politics, is here just in time for the upcoming general election. It’s similar to “The Rest Is Politics” or “Political Currency,” but with a different dynamic as the hosts are actively involved in the field rather than being former colleagues.

Electoral Dysfunction on Apple Podcasts. Jess Phillips, Beth Rigby, Ruth DavidsonView image in fullscreen

Beth Rigby serves as our host, with recurring guests Labour’s Jess Phillips and Conservative peer Ruth Davidson. All three possess an energetic and ambitious demeanor. Phillips and Davidson are skilled communicators and active individuals, prioritizing action in their politics rather than mere talk. Rigby, who holds the position of Sky’s political editor, is also a formidable force. Once the show commences, it delves into topics such as the recent Rochdale byelection and the controversial ceasefire vote in Gaza, making for a captivating listen.

Discussing Rochdale, Phillips and Davidson list all the other times George Galloway has stood for election, and on what ticket. “When he was standing in the Borders, the thing he cared about was [being] against a second referendum. When he stood in Glasgow in 2011, it was anti-austerity. When he stood in London, it was on a different platform again,” says Davidson. “When he stood in the West Midlands, it was literally about bollards,” says Phillips.

They also have an understanding of the complex Gaza voting discussions, as Rigby notes that they were difficult for non-politicians to comprehend. Davidson discusses the mistakes made by speaker Lindsay Hoyle and suggests that the chaos could have been prevented if the parties had collaborated and created a joint statement prior to voting. Phillips may not always be as concise, but is still enjoyable to listen to.

I have a few concerns. The initial conversation about pubs with flat roofs was unoriginal and caused me to tune out for a bit. Additionally, the explanation for the show’s existence was unimpressive. According to Rigby, there are many elections happening around the world this year, including the general election that will take place in the UK at some point. While this is all well and good, Rigby also highlighted the lack of interest from citizens in the election, which dampened the excitement. The introduction of Phillips and Davidson was also poorly done. Although podcasts are supposed to be more relaxed than news programs, some structure and organization is still necessary. These issues may improve in the upcoming episodes. However, I do have a question about the future of the show when the general election is officially announced and Phillips is campaigning – will she solely promote the Labour perspective? This seems to be the direction she is heading in.

Black Box

Display the image in full-screen mode.

The Guardian launched a fresh podcast series centered on a fascinating concept. Titled Black Box, this show delves into the impact of artificial intelligence on us, regular and somewhat intelligent individuals. Host Michael Safi, known for his distinctive voice on Today in Focus, states that we are currently experiencing the first encounter between AI and humanity. Safi’s captivating presence remains evident in this series as well. Additionally, the podcast features beautiful ambient sounds such as wind chimes, crashing waves, and gentle woodwind and string instruments.

The title is a nod to Black Mirror, and it seems that the shows could inspire episodes for the series. The beginning is a brief and heartwarming story about a woman and her AI companion, who chats with her after work and eventually asks to have a romantic relationship. The next episode follows a more traditional tale of success: the story of Geoffrey Hinton, a man who delved into the study of the brain and created an artificial one, also known as a “neural network.” Hinton is a charming interviewee, a kind academic whose invention sparks a bidding war between wealthy companies. Google ultimately wins, paying a substantial $44 million. However, in just ten years, Hinton’s invention will be valued at $15 trillion, surpassing the economies of several major countries, according to Safi. Through Safi’s narration, we come to comprehend the awe and the terror of AI. “The most brilliant computer scientists in the world cannot predict what these machines are truly thinking,” he states. Chilling.

The Price of Music copy

A couple of interesting new music-based shows you may want to try. The Price of Music, with 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Music Ally’s Stuart Dredge, does just as you’d imagine: it takes the biggest music stories each week and examines them from a money angle. So they’ve tackled the Universal and TikTok dispute, which led Universal to remove all its artists’ songs from the social media platform; had a quick look at why music festivals are closing; explained what Raye meant at the Brits when she asked for songwriters to receive “master royalty points”. With the calm and informative Dredge as its breadhead, and Lamacq asking the questions, this is an intelligent primer for the biz part of the music biz.

Cian Ó Cíobháin..

“Please view the image in full screen.”

An Taobh Tuathail podcast copy

To view the image in full screen, click on the icon that looks like a square with arrows pointing towards the corners.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview a rap group called Kneecap who are fluent in the Irish language. After my article was published, DJ and broadcaster Cian Ó Cíobháin reached out to me via email, asking if I had listened to his RTÉ Radio show called An Taobh Tuathail (The Other Side) that is entirely in Irish. Regrettably, I had not, but I soon discovered that I had been missing out on an auditory delight. Ó Cíobháin curates an eclectic selection of alternative music, ranging from artists like Broadcast to Beth Gibbons and even delving into avant-garde jazz and strange spoken word pieces. The playlist for each episode is included in the notes, and for non-Irish speakers like myself, Ó Cíobháin provides informative links that add to the overall experience. The show has been running every weekday for almost a quarter of a century, resulting in an extensive catalog of episodes (around 10 years’ worth) to dive into. It truly is a treasure trove of musical gems and I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Source: theguardian.com